Yoga Philosophy and Suffering
Back on the ninth Live “Light on Yoga Philosophy” with a light on the founding elements of suffering in Yoga philosophy: the kleshas. Vincent presents the five causes of suffering called Klesha, and what are their antidotes.
Vincent talks about a subject that many people experience at different levels: suffering. In Sanskrit (the Indian language), suffering is called dukkha. But this can also be interpreted as thedissatisfaction : the being who is continuously dissatisfied.
Vincent believes that this feeling of dissatisfaction is experienced by many of us : For example, when we want to go from being single to become a cut, when you want to change a job for another job. And once we have obtained this situation, the mind, continually dissatisfied, desires dissatisfied, desires something else.
THE FIRST TEACHING OF THE BUDDHA
Besides the fact that the fact that suffering is today a real subject of current eventswith the crisis of the covid qcrisis we are going through, it is an extremely important subject, whether in yoga or in Buddhism. whether in yoga or in Buddhism. DMoreover, this corresponds to the first teaching of the Bouddha. In fact, his first sermon took place in Sarnath, next to Benares (or Varanasi), which is the most sacred city in India. Buddha has expressed the four noble truths. And the first of truths is that of suffering.
We can see that this is the case in yoga or in Buddhism, the notion of torment is very important.
In the previous teachings, we have seen that yoga is a very powerful tool.e have seen that yoga is above all above all a process of refinement in order to eliminate our blockages, our fears, our beliefs. beliefs. The purpose of yoga is Moksha the liberation, which which is the stopping of the agitations and disturbances of the mind.
But to free ourselves from our sufferings, the first step somewhere somewhere is to recognize that there is tormentand to study it the foundations. Even if at home, sometimes, in Occidentally, it is difficult to talk about pain. The first step is really to recognize it, because if there is no pain, there is no release possible.
The difficulty of accepting suffering
It is also difficult to talk about suffering because today we develop a certain develop a certain culture of appearancethrough, for example social networks, for example, and we are entering into what Vincent calls a race to happiness . And this can be experienced, for example, if you go to a friend’s house and you know that everything is going wonderfully well for this person. If this friend asks us how we are doing, we will be tempted to tell him that everything is going well for us too, even if it is chaos in our life or our mind.
It is difficult for us to difficult to accept that we are not doing well, so that it is not serious : on has the right to suffer. On the contrary, it is necessary to to be pleased to become aware of itbecause it allows us to start a path. Sf you don’t recognize the torment, it is difficult to start the path to liberation.
Happiness is inside
Somewhere, we all aspire to happiness. We all lead this quest of happiness and this brings us to an essential element essential element: the happiness is found inside. It is not is not found in external conditions. external conditions.
In our society, we develop what Vincent ds definition of materialistic happiness. We need abandon the idea that happiness is found in external conditions, and realize that happiness is actually is actually there, simply within us. within us.
For link with what Vincent explained to us last time about the complete path of the eight limbs of of Patanjali’s yoga: Vincent told us that yoga is about becoming your own therapist. No one can do this work but ourselves.
VICTIMS OF OUR EMOTIONS
Vincent makes a link with another book that does not is not related to yoga or Buddhism : The Four Toltec Agreements of the shaman Don Miguel Ruiz. Vincent noted three sentences:
“The first step is to become aware of the fog that clouds your mind. .
The first step is to be aware of it.
“Every day we wake up with a certain amount of mental, emotional or physical energy that we spend during the day. If we allow our emotions to drain us of this energy, we have no energy left to change our lives or to give to others. The way you see the world will depend on the emotions you feel.
Le are really into this notion that we create our ownwe create our our own reality. What is to look inside.
“The problem with most people is that they lose control of their emotions. It is emotions that control human behavior, not humans that control emotions.”
According to Vincent, everything is said here. He explained in his very first intervention that the reflection of the universe is neither more nor less the reflection of our mental chaos.
- In the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali we find the five Kleshas.
- The five Kleshas are defined by Patanjali as the causes of suffering
- Klesha can be defined as affliction
- These five Kleshas are related to our emotional state
Vincent quotes us the sutra n°3 of chapter 2.
” L he causes of the suffering are blindness, ego ego, the desire to take, the refusal to accept, the refusal to accept, attachment to life”.
First Klesha : Avidya, ignorance
Avidya is the first Klesha and the most important to understand. We are told in the sacred texts (sutra n°4 of chapter 2):
“Ignorance of reality is the source of other causes of suffering, whether they are developed or dormant. developed or dormant . “
That is to say–that theignorance is the root of all torments. Again, it is the same whether it is in yoga or in Buddhism. When we talk about ignorance, we are talking about the fundamental confusionwe are talking about the blindness of the true entity of the truth.
This is what Vincent had explained to us through the concept of Maya which is the cosmic illusion. The idea of self-realization is to go beyond Maya, the cosmic illusion. It is from become our true nature.
There are several characteristics to this blindness and incapacity, one of which is extremely important important: impermanence. This is the that all things, every phenomenon changes at every moment. What is important to understand, is that it is not the change in him–itself that is tormenting. But this is our desire that the things we love to last that creates pain, and the anguish of losing what we desire.
Another importantnd another important concept to understand in this Klesha is theinterdependence.
Lnterdependence is this notion that we are connected to the Whole. It’s the idea that we don’t really exist independently, as individuality would have it somewhere.
Sutra n°5 of chapter 2 :
” L Ignorance of reality is to take the impermanent, the impure, the unhappy, that which that which is not the self, for the permanent, the pure, the happy and the self.
Second Klesha: Asmitā, the sense of “I”
Asmitā corresponds to the ego, the sense of “I”.
The work of yoga is precisely to to disidentify oneself from this “I. For it is he who really suffers.
Vincent often says that‘today we are essentially guided by the “I”.. We can watch everything that happens in the Universethat it is the wars, the conquest of space… All this is neither more nor less wars or ego envy.
Vincent considers that the “I” is a real poison in the society of today. Because it leads to all the disparities, all the inequalities, all this violence.
Third Klesha: Rāga, desire, attachment
Rāga refers to desire and attachment. We speak of desire in the sense of thirst for sensory pleasures. This is the fact of always wanting moreto be continually dissatisfied. As we always want more, the desire will be creator of expectationsand expectations can be creators of d’attachmentsetc.
To free ourselves from desire and attachment in our daily lives, Vincent advises us to replace the wordhe word “desire” by the word by the word “wish” which does not have the same connotation.
It is also important to differentiate between love and attachment. These are completely opposite notions in yoga philosophy.
For example, in within a couple, the attachment will come of “I”. It will be “Rendering I’m happy, I need you to be happy”. On the other hand, love will be “I make you happy”, the motivation is not the same at all.
Bf course, we all have attachments, but the idea is to work on this to work on this detachment and of cultivate true love.
Fourth Klesha: Dvesha, aversion, anger
Dvesha represents hostility and anger.
It is the fact of not not wanting to meet that will bring us that will bring us torment.
Anger is experienced by all, and it is like a poison for the soul. poison for the soul. It can lead us into aggressiveness, in the violence, whether physical, mental or verbal. Mental violence can exist for example within a couple: the fact of wanting the other to be as one would like, and not herself.
Fifth Klesha: Abhinivesha
The fear of death, the attachment to life
Abhinivesha refers to the thirst to exist. Chis fear of death is also the root of all our fears.
The five Kleshas are sources of disturbing emotions
These five Kleshas will trigger other disturbing emotions. For example of aggressiveness, spite, jealousy, cruelty, inattention, self-importance smugness, dishonesty, lack of respect of respect and consideration for the other the other, a lack of conscience etc…
Shile the ego has somewhere a predominant place in the origins of pain.
Lhe first work is to realize that we create our own reality, and that happiness is inside. It is necessary to recognize incontinued lhe suffering one experiences and study its triggers. Then, we can work on these disruptive emotions, so that they no longer affect our lives.
Can fear cause pain?
Laking fear causes us to be tormented. Panic and anger are both disturbing emotions that will to generate suffering in any case. For example, with the current crisis, many people suffer from anxiety about dying. And angeranger is something we have all experienced, cannot be be a source of joy.
How can we identify the foundations of our suffering?
The first step, as we have seen, is to recognize that there is suffering. It is being able to not to lie to ourselves and realize that we are suffering. Lhe second step is to manage to identify lthe founding elements of the malaise through introspection. For example through the practice of yoga and meditation. We can meditate on what makes us suffer, what makes us dissatisfied. It is about question ourselves why we feel this emotion of dissatisfaction: do we compare ourselves too much to others, do we set ourselves too big goals, where does our individuality lie, etc.
Is the the suffering due to a lack of connection ?
Sf we speak of the word connection in the sense of being connected to then yes. Because the first klesha of ignorance, Avidya, is this state of confusion confusion. It is to believe that the world is as we perceive it, whereas this is not the true nature of reality. On access to the true entity of reality by connecting to one’s true selfwhich is bliss, light, pure consciousness. It is to unify Atman (the individual soul) with Brahman (the Whole, the Cosmos, the ultimate Reality). It is important to understand that Atman is neither more or less the reflection of Brahman in us. Ct is this notion of microcosm and macrocosm: that is, Atman and Brahman are the same thing.
We can refer to the eight members of Raja-Yoga. This process allows us the supreme realization and elevation of consciousnessstep by step, through the supra-conscious state which is Samadhi.
But it is necessary especially work on letting go and stepping back. That is, to see beyond our “self”. Today, the general mental atmosphere is not a general atmosphere conducive to joy. But we can still take a step back and to feel gratitude for the fact that we have food or drink, for example.
We can also develop altruism and compassion. Vincent gives us a very simple example: helping someone in trouble on the side of the road, even if we don’t know this person.
Another way is to to work on the acceptance of what is. This is one of the hardest things about working on acceptance and forgiveness. Nevertheless, they are remedies for pain. For what makes us suffer is the fact that things are not not as we would like them to be.
We must welcome this trial, because it is by recognizing it that it allows us to that it allows us to move forward on the path.
Cultivate self-love, which is extremely important, as well as love for others, peace, inner joy, the benevolence, contentment. And this always with a pure intention and pure motivation.
Vincent often repeats that developing these qualities will bring us a lot.that developing these qualities will bring us much more in our life than than succeeding in the big one. gap. According to him, it is important to understand that the purpose of yoga is above all to cultivating love. All the inequalities and disparities that we know on the planet translate nothing more or less than a lack of love.
LYoga is above all the art of loving and to and to develop one’s qualities of love and attention.
Everyone finds their own methods
Everyone will find their own methods and his own way to work on his discomfort and be more in the inner joy. There are many disciplines that exist to raise our consciousness and it is up to each one to find his or her favourite discipline.
Do we have to love everyone?
According to Vincent, yes. It is not a duty but the idea is to develop this quality of love towards others. We must develop these qualities of love, not only towards humans, but also towards all living things. As well as for the Earth.
What counts is to to transform yourself. Self-transformation will create a vibration around us, which will help other people to also develop these qualities of love and kindness.
Loving without expecting in return
This is the the same as Karma yoga, which is the yoga of selfless service selfless service : we don’t wait for the fruits of the action. As said before, we must cultivate self-love, love of others, peace, inner joy, and a sense of belonging. benevolence, contentment. And this always with pure intention and pure motivation.
If the intention is not pure, and you love someone in order to get returns, it becomes manipulation. It’s the same thing when you do an act of charity: you have to do it to help the other person and not to become famous.
Vincent quotes us an excerpt from the Great Book of Yoga:
“The action is not good or bad in itself, its quality depends on his motivation. Thus, if charity is done for a selfish purpose, of prestige or power, cannot be considered truly good. considered truly good.